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EVEN THOUGH Dive Travel magazine employs a diverse group of freelance photographers, the production staff found itself craving new ways of creating dynamic images. And then they discovered morphing.
"The morphing was done to achieve a special look for the magazine," recalls Publisher Susan Wilmink. "(A look) that emphasized the topside experiences of dive travelers as well as the underwater spectacle. We had a hard time finding single images to reflect these feelings … so we forged out on our own."
Freelance photographers submit duped slides, which are scanned and saved in three resolutions on a Kodak PhotoCD. "Because I'm working with the images extensively in Photoshop, it doesn't really behoove us to get a fancy drum scan, because the image is pretty thoroughly manipulated by the time I get through with it," says Art Director John Newman. The images are pulled, color-corrected and, when it is appropriate, they are morphed before in-house separations are performed.
"(Separations are) done in Photoshop," Wilmink explains. "The process usually involves opening the raw image and converting it to CMYK. We go through several stages of sharpening the image … and brightening it for printing. It's a tribute to John's experience that we are able to achieve the quality we do, since we don't really have a high-end method of printing, testing and proofing the images in-house before they are sent to the prepress house for output."
Wilmink recalls the idea behind a recent cover (see image, below): "We decided to create our own mermaid. We took a photo we had of a ballerina … (and) morphed her with a really outrageous octopus."
Wilmink appreciates software that encourages creativity, but she gives credit where due: "Our art director is absolutely brilliant. … He was able to think his way through (Photoshop), make absolute sense of it and create wild images."